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MBA Insider Profile

MBA Insider

English, Finance, 3 seasons, 231 episodes, 5 days, 20 hours, 42 minutes
The MBA Insider podcast is a show hosted by Author and Career Coach Al Dea that is designed for career-driven professionals looking for advice on how to grow their careers by leveraging the skills, experiences, and knowledge gained from an MBA degree. In each episode, Al will give you a look into the business school experience, along with practical tips, career advice, and real life stories to help MBAs grow their careers.
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#231: The Unspoken Rules to Career Success

Note: This is a replay of one of our most popular episodesGorick Ng is a HBS Alum and the Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Start Your Career Off Right,. The Unspoken Rules is now offered at multinationals, professional services firms, startups, and non-profits around the world for onboarding, training, and diversity and inclusion. In 2021, Harvard Business School offered The Unspoken Rules to every MBA student. Gorick has been thinking about careers and jobs since he started helping his mother prepare her resume and apply to jobs when he was only a teenager. Since then, he’s gone on to help countless numbers of students and young professionals navigate their careers, and built his own career first as a management consultant and now as a career development expert.During our conversation, Gorick spoke about his learnings about careers over the years, some of the challenging events in his career that led to the ideas for his book “The Unspoken Rules’ ‘ and a wide-ranging conversation around career development advice for MBA students and Alum.  Links:Unspoken Rules Gorick’s WebsiteGorick’s LinkedIn
5/13/202453 minutes, 41 seconds
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#230: Breaking into Product Management with Felix Watson Jr

Note: This is a replay of one of our most popular episodesFelix Watson Junior is a UCLA Anderson Alumni, and the Founder of the PM Mastermind Group. After starting his career as an engineer, Felix pursued an MBA to pivot into a career in product management, and has done PM stints at Microsoft and Google. Now, Felix helps educate current and aspiring Product Managers through his PM Mastermind Group. During our conversation, Felix spoke about his journey into Product Management, and his advice to aspiring Product Managers. Additional LinksFelix’s LinkedInLinkedIn Product Management Mastermind Group
5/6/202427 minutes, 29 seconds
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#229: Building a Business while pursuing an MBA from Wharton

Note: This is a replay of one of our most popular episodesBreanna Atkinson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Kokada, whose mission is to create good-tasting and healthy food with ingredients from around the world. After her undergraduate career, she spent some time in consulting. She was inspired to pursue her MBA early on, and applied to Wharton while launching her first company. Another large influence has been in her time as an athlete, playing as a student athlete at Duke, and then going on to be a member of the Jamaican national women’s volleyball team. In this conversation, we discuss her journey as a student-athlete, developing her pitch, the value of an MBA for an entrepreneur, and the challenges of starting your own business. LinksWebsite Breanna’s LinkedInInstagram
4/29/202424 minutes, 29 seconds
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#203: Life After Business School with Jodi Innerfield

Note: This is a replay episode of one our most popular episodes from 2022: After graduating with an MBA from the University of Michigan (Ross) Jodi Innerfield moved to San Francisco to start her post-MBA career working in a Product Marketing role at a startup. Since then, she’s moved to larger companies and has built a career at Salesforce and moved back across the country to the East Coast. During our conversation, we spoke about her life after graduating from Ross as well as some of the exciting opportunities and challenges of life after business school. Jodi also spoke about her career journey, how she views her own career development, and her advice to MBA graduates for how to best launch their post-MBA careers.Jodi’s MBASchooled Profile
7/17/202347 minutes, 20 seconds
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#202: Life After an MBA from Texas McCombs

Editor's Note. This is a replay of a Top Performing Episode from 2021:After graduating from the University of Texas-Austin (McCombs) with her MBA, Lucero Perez began her post-MBA journey after graduating from Texas McCombs by transitioning into a career in management consulting, before switching to a career in Tech at an enterprise software company. Along the way, Lucero navigated the post-MBA career and life journey with the support of family and friends, and her own career ambitions. During this conversation, Lucero spoke about her journey to transitioning to life after graduating, some of the highs and lows, and provided her own advice to how to best navigate career and life after graduating from business school.
7/10/202327 minutes, 55 seconds
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#198: The Portfolio Life: New Models For Careers Fit For Today’s World of Work

Note: This is a crossover episode from The Edge of Work Podcast. If you like this episode, make sure to check out The Edge of WorkChristina Wallace is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School, an HBS Graduate, entrepreneur and author.In her most recent book, The Portfolio Life: How to Future-Proof Your Career, Avoid Burnout, and Build a Life Bigger Than Your Business Card, Christina makes the case for how employees are multi-dimensional individuals, and can re-think and reframe their relationship with their job and career, and to use portfolio and diversification theory to de-risk and explore multiple paths instead. During our conversation, Christina spoke about how living her own version of a Portfolio life gave her the idea to start researching the book, and why we need a more expansive mindset around how employees can navigate their lives and careers in a more expansive and modern way.She shares her perspective on how people who are not interested in a more traditional or tried career path, can use the portfolio model to find meaning and success, and she also makes the case, for how in the future of work, The Portfolio model can be a more expansive way for employees to manage their career in today’s modern world of work.LinksThe Portfolio Life: The Edge of Work Podcast:
6/5/202346 minutes, 49 seconds
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#185: My Journey to an MBA at the Stanford GSB

Sowa Imoisilli is an MBA Candidate in the Class of 2023 at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Prior to attending the GSB, Sowa worked as a management consultant in the health and public service sector and eventually made her way into the innovation hub helping ideate and build products. After realizing she was interested in getting more ownership of the work she was doing as well as being drawn to entrepreneurship and venture capital, Sowa decided to pursue an MBA degree, and wound up at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. During our conversation, Sowa spoke about her journey to an MBA at the GSB, as well as how she is using her time in business school to develop herself and grow her career. She also spoke in-depth about her own leadership experience as a Co-President of the Stanford GSB student government, and the lessons she’s learned in the experience.
3/6/202332 minutes, 53 seconds
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#184: Pursuing Personal Learning and Growth through an MBA and Beyond

Janine Lee is a Global L&D Strategy and Ops Lead at Google, and graduated with her MBA from UC-Berkeley Haas. Throughout her life and career, Janine has always pushed herself to learn and grow. Prior to business school, Janine was working in the utility and energy space before deciding that she wanted to further her learning by switching careers, and after seeing many leaders and mentors she admired who had gotten MBAs, Janine decided she too wanted to pursue one.During our conversation, Janine spoke about her early career and eventually what inspired her to get her MBA. She also spoke about how she was able to use her MBA to transition into a new role, and how she continues to push herself to learn and grow in her career now as an Educational Doctoral student.LinksJanine’s LinkedIn Profile:’s Instagram Profile:
2/27/202321 minutes, 39 seconds
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#183: MBA Career Transition Success: How MBA Students Navigate Career Transitions at the Texas McCombs School of Business

Editor’s Note: This episode has been produced in partnership with the Texas McCombs School of Business.Whether it’s going to get an MBA to transition into a new career or accelerate your path on an existing one, finding the right program with the right resources to help students achieve their career goals is important to MBA applicants.To talk about the importance of support and resources in the MBA career process, we had the pleasure of speaking with Abby Pollard, (Director, Full Time MBA Career Education & Coaching) and Claudia Lara (McCombs, ‘23) from the Texas McCombs School of Business.As the Director of MBA Career Education and Coaching, Abby and her team work with hundreds of students each year as they navigate their career process in the Texas McCombs MBA program. And as a student with a desire to make a career switch, Claudia made sure to utilize all the resources at her disposal to transition into a career at the intersection of cleantech, finance, and sustainability.During our conversation, Claudia spoke about her decision to get an MBA, why she chose Texas McCombs, and how the various career resources at McCombs helped her achieve her goal of transitioning into the cleantech industry, while Abby added in her insights from helping hundreds of students who have navigated career transitions, as well as her advice to prospective MBA applicants considering an MBA from the Texas McCombs.LinksApply Now: The Texas McCombs Full-Time MBA ApplicationTexas McCombs Full-Time MBA Program
2/20/202333 minutes, 47 seconds
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#182: Listener Mailbag and Career Advice

In this solo episode, Al tackles a number of listener questions that are top of mind for aspiring MBA applicants including:What to do about an upcoming promotion at work and balancing that with pursuing an MBAWhen does it make sense to pursue a part-time MBA vs a Full-Time MBA?Advice on how to get your employer to pay for your MBA degree?If you are an aspiring, current or former MBA student who has questions about the MBA or any other career related question, make sure to send us your questions so we can answer them in an episode. Contact us at [email protected] Type of MBA Program is Right For Me?
2/13/202319 minutes, 46 seconds
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#140: Experiential Learning and Career Growth: The Role of Experiential Learning Programs at UNC Kenan-Flagler

Experiential learning opportunities facilitate hands-on skills application and growth for MBA students, while setting them up for new career opportunities. To talk about how experiential learning facilitates development and growth, we spoke with two UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA students, Jeryon Davis and Olivia Koziol, as well as Karin Cochran, Executive Director of the STAR Program at UNC Kenan-Flagler. During our conversation, Jeryon and Olivia, MBA students who participated in the STAR Program, spoke about how experiential learning helped them expand their knowledge and skillsets in the short term, while also giving them the confidence and capability to make major career transitions into new functions and industries. Karin also spoke about the value of experiential learning programs like STAR. Having worked with hundreds of students and countless employers who have hired UNC MBAs, she discusses how programs like STAR prepare MBA students to navigate the complexities of the fast-changing world of work.LinksUNC Kenan-Flagler Business School: STAR Program
2/27/202239 minutes, 42 seconds
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#121: NYU Stern MBA Admissions with Lisa Rios

Lisa Rios is the Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at NYU Stern. This past month, NYU Stern’s Full-Time MBA program announced that they received an 8% increase in applications and welcomed 338 full-time MBA students into the class of 2023. During our conversation, Lisa spoke about some of the highlights from last year’s MBA application cycle at NYU Stern and some of her reflections and learnings on the application cycle. She also shared more of what’s new at NYU Stern, what she is excited about for this year’s MBA application cycle, and why a full-time MBA is great career development opportunity for early and emerging career professionals.
10/3/202124 minutes, 25 seconds
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#120: The Equity Network with Kristina Hu

Kristina Hu is a MBA Student at Harvard Business School (2022) and the Co-Founder of the Equity Network, a social enterprise she is working on while a student at HBS. After doing stints in Investment Banking and Product Management, Kristina is building a social enterprise aimed at democratizing access to professional networks for underserved and underrepresented populations to help them achieve their career goals. During our conversation, Kristina spoke about her journey to HBS, why she and her Co-Founders came up with the idea of the Equity Network, and how they are working on their social enterprise while students at HBS.LinksLinkedIn ProfileWebsiteHBS Profile
9/26/202126 minutes, 41 seconds
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#116: Pursuing a Path to Entrepreneurship and Startups at UCLA Anderson

Michael Vilardo (UCLA Anderson, ‘21) is a UCLA Anderson Alumni, and Co-Founder of Emile. During his time at Anderson, Michael used every opportunity to explore opportunities within entrepreneurship before finding the opportunity to join Emile as a Co-Founder and COO. During our conversation, Michael spoke about his journey to UCLA Anderson, his time in business school, and how he used the programs and resources at UCLA Anderson to pursue his desire to strengthen his entrepreneurial skills.Michael’s TwitterConsortiumEmilePrice Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
8/29/202126 minutes, 20 seconds
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#114: Applying Mindfulness to the MBA Application Process with Shannon Demko

Shannon Reinard Demko is a Director & Senior Coach at Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) as well as the Founder at MindfulMBA. As someone who has coached and advised numerous MBA aspirants and applications, Shannon has seen all the highs and lows that applicants and students encounter. From the dreaded rejection to getting off the waitlist to navigating the difficulties of the first semester, Shannon uniquely understands the ups and downs of MBA students and applicants. Additionally, Shannon is Founder of the MindfulMBA, where she uses her knowledge of these challenges to help students and alum manage the challenges of the MBA lifestyle with mindfulness, stress management and introspection. During our conversation, Shannon spoke about her own journey and background, why she started MindfulMBA, how Mindfulness can help MBAs at every stage of their journey, and her advice to using mindfulness to navigate everyday life.MindfulMBAShannon’s LinkedIn profile
8/15/202142 minutes, 38 seconds
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#112: Career Development For MBAs with Derek Pando

Derek Pando is a BYU MBA Alum, and has done tours of duty in marketing roles at companies like Salesforce, LinkedIn, and most recently, Zoom. Along the way, Derek has always been thoughtful about making career decisions and has had a genuine curiosity in career development and growing a career. During our conversation, Derek spoke about his career journey, lessons he’s learned from each experience and how he has made transitions, and his advice to MBA and aspiring MBAs about how to build a successful career.Links:Derek’s LinkedInDerek’s BlogDerek’s Q&A with Nathan Tanner
8/1/202148 minutes
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#106: Life After Business School

After graduating with an MBA from the University of Michigan (Ross) Jodi Innerfield moved to San Francisco to start her post-MBA career working in a Product Marketing role at a startup. Since then, she’s moved to larger companies and has built a career at Salesforce and moved back across the country to the East Coast. During our conversation, we spoke about her life after graduating from Ross as well as some of the exciting opportunities and challenges of life after business school. Jodi also spoke about her career journey, how she views her own career development, and her advice to MBA graduates for how to best launch their post-MBA careers.
5/16/202146 minutes, 52 seconds
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#92: My Journey to an MBA at USC Marshall

In this episode, MBASchooled Ambassador Margaret Nealon (USC Marshall, ‘22) joins us to talk about her journey to USC Marshall. During our conversation, we spoke about Margaret’s career journey, why she chose to get an MBA, and her advice to prospective MBA students.
3/3/202125 minutes, 1 second
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#91: Financing Your MBA

Tess Michaels is the Founder and CEO of Stride Funding. After going through the MBA application process, upon reflection, Tess realized there had to be better ways to finance your degree, and went on a journey to create Stride Funding. During our conversation, Tess spoke about how she built Stride Funding, how Stride helps MBA students and other students finance their degrees, and what she’s learned about building a startup while an MBA student.
2/28/202121 minutes, 45 seconds
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#80: Navigating The MBA Waitlist

Robert Solby is an MBA Candidate in the Class of 2021 at UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business. Robert’s had an enjoyable and meaningful experience at Haas, but it started with some MBA application adversity. Robert was initially waitlisted, and wasn’t admitted until July before class started. During this interview, Robert spoke about his MBA application journey, being waitlisted and his response, and his advice to MBA applicants who end up on the waitlist.
1/20/202130 minutes, 57 seconds
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#58: Driving Change and Sharing Success Through Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at UCLA Anderson School of Management

In this special episode, I had the chance to speak with four student leaders at the UCLA Anderson School of Management to talk about Equity, Diversity and Inclusion on campus. With student leaders representing four key student organizations, we spoke about the importance of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in their student community, the role that they and their respective organizations play in furthering EDI efforts, and the initiatives and programs that are in the works for this calendar year. They also spoke about Embracing Diversity Week - register to attend through November 1st!  (
10/27/202039 minutes, 17 seconds
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#28: Corporate Social Responsibility and What it Means For MBA Students

Nikita Mitchell (Haas, ‘15) has spent her professional career thinking about the role companies and leaders play in creating responsible and equitable companies and communities. In this episode, Mitchell spoke about the intersection of business and society, how companies are doing well (and poorly) with their responses to social issues, and the responsibility that MBA students have in addressing these issues, both at their school and in their future.
7/27/202054 minutes, 5 seconds
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#16: Life 5 Years After Business School

In this episode, I’m joined by two of my fellow UNC Kenan-Flagler Class of 2015 classmates Blake Koch and Kerry Rigley to talk about life five years after graduating from Business School. This spring, Kerry, Blake and I and many of our classmates were slated to be celebrating our 5-year MBA reunion a few weeks ago in Chapel Hill, but like all in-person events that plan was put on hold. Instead, Blake, Kerry and I reflected upon our own journeys after graduating with our degree, what we've learned, and our advice to fellow MBA graduates.
5/25/202057 minutes, 54 seconds